To escape an abusive partner, Sara moved to Rensselaer from South Holland to raise her 10-year-old son Cale and 4-year-old daughter Sorrel. Even though her family is in a safer environment, they are struggling with a new challenge, namely how to survive financially on their own.
A high school graduate, Sara could only find work at the Royal Oak Family Restaurant, where she is making $7.25, Indiana’s minimum wage, plus tips. That puts her family below the federal poverty line for an annual household income of three in 2020: $21,720. She qualifies for monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which is essential to keeping her kids fed and housed at Meadowood Apartments, a low-income housing complex in town that accepts federal housing choice vouchers.